I. Am. Furious.

I watch Button Poetry videos on YouTube because that’s as close to my city as I fear they’ll ever get. I watch people pour out their hearts and their secrets and the intimacy of their lives on a stage in front of people they don’t know, have never met, may never see again, and I am moved on a level that is deeper than superficial appreciation of an art form.

I watch Button Poetry videos on YouTube and sometimes I cry. Sometimes I get really angry—not at the readers, but at the material. I get angry that there’s a problem in the first place. I get angry that so many of my peers are assholes who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions or their beliefs, or accept the fact that their peers are assholes who create problems and instill fear in the hearts of others.

Last Friday, a boy in California murdered six people because he was angry that he wasn’t getting sexed by the pretty women in the sorority on his college campus even though he was convinced that he was everything a man should be, that he deserved their sexual attentions more than did the men who were actually receiving them. Because what kind of slut only has sex with the men she actually wants it from? What kind of slut tells a boy she doesn’t know “No, I don’t want to have sex with you”—whether she’s in a relationship or not? I mean, let’s be serious, here: it was totally their fault for not letting him wet his dick in their bodies, right?

Wrong.

Wrong on so goddamned many levels it would take too long to list them, but every single one of them boils down to the idea that women are not on this planet to lie down and let men fuck us. My body is not moving down the street for your viewing pleasure; my cleavage is not on display for your hands to ooze into and my skirt is not here for you to shove your camera into in hopes that my vagina will be visible.

This Rogers guy frequented forums on which men congregated and bashed feminists and objectified women, supported the idea that to be the ultimate Alpha Male you have to be violent and dominating. Forums like 4chan, where boards like /b/ are filled with threads of men sexually assaulting and violating sleeping or drunk women, fucking them without permission, putting their penises into mouths that didn’t say yes, ejaculating on faces and breasts and vaginas that were not offered for the activity. /b/ is filled with threads of men sympathizing with Rogers and further bashing feminism, where William Fucking Wheaton has white knighted the #YesAllMen hashtag to sympathize with men who feel that they are victimized by feminism, that they are being crushed under the boot of the march toward equal rights, as if having to ask women for permission is a punishment. /b/ is a cesspool in which my boyfriend likes to wander, examine scenery, have thoughts on comments, comment on thoughts–because here and there are harmless threads that actually provide valid amusement. /b/ is a horrible, awful place in which naked photos of women are shared like germs in daycares because she dumped the poster, because she cheated, because he felt that she had done him wrong. Men hiding behind computer screens dump photos in threads upon threads for the sake of someone else’s fap folder taking precedence over the sanctity of a body OP once worshipped.

And it makes me angry. It makes me angry and uncomfortable and frankly, vaguely frightened. I know that I am safe. I know that my boyfriend will never hurt me, and I know that I have the skills to take care of myself in the event of a sketchy situation. But that doesn’t mean that I am not officially half-terrified of house parties. That doesn’t mean that I am not infuriated that I have to be chaperoned on my trip to Wal-Mart at 3 in the morning for a new box of tampons because some guy might kidnap me from the parking lot just for the sake of achieving orgasm in a body that he doesn’t have to make say yes. It doesn’t mean that I am not fed up with guys who complain about being in the “Friend Zone” as if being a nice guy should automatically mean that I am obligated to fuck you. And it sure as hell does not mean that I am not ready to throatpunch the next guy who tells me that feminism has run its course, that men and women are already equal, and that people who complain about misogyny need to calm the fuck down.

I do not resort to violence. I have never bitchslapped a soul, nor have I ever punched somebody in the face. I do not believe in violence because I believe that there is a better way to solve problems. I believe that words have more power than any physical violence could. You can beat me until I am in the hospital for months, in need of reconstructive surgery and physical therapy for years, but you cannot beat me until I believe that my boyfriend’s gay mom will go to hell simply because she loves another woman. You cannot beat me until I believe that I am worth less than my boyfriend simply because I was born with a vagina, and you certainly cannot beat me until I budge on my stance on consent. And I don’t care what anyone says, men can be raped just as easily as women can, and it happens more often than people care to admit. Sexual violence is rampant in this nation, in our culture, and it has got to stop.

This is a conversation that needs to be had. This is something that we need to address, regardless of whatever religious zealots are telling our school administrations. There needs to be sex ed and it needs to be more comprehensive than “Don’t have sex.” Bodies need to be removed from taboo subjects; sex needs to stop being a taboo subject. How can we move forward if we keep holding ourselves back?

The only answer is: We can’t.

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Posted in Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Pick Your Gadget

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?  —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pick-your-gadget/

While my heart cries out for me to buy the time machine to go back in time to revisit my late brother, I know that to do so would be detrimental to my mental and emotional health, as well as the rest of my life. The fact of the matter is that my brother is gone, and I cannot change that, regardless of how badly I really, desperately want to. The time machine is impossibly tempting, for more reasons than this, but I know better. I couldn’t do that to myself, despite the impossible temptation.

Able to afford only one, I would grab an Anywhere Door, and I would use the hell out of it. I would go everywhere I’ve dreamed of going. It would have a frequent opening in London, but it would certainly show me the world. Unable to escape the truth of my present, there is nothing I’d like more than to explore the world around me, especially those parts I haven’t seen. I would visit my friends in faraway places, go to concerts and plays/musicals in locations too far to traverse for the occasion–like the production of Hamlet in which Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Hamlet himself this fall, for a prime example. I would visit my brother, his wife and their new baby far more often than they’d like me to. I would take my boyfriend to visit his niece. We would go everywhere, and nothing would stop us. It would be amazing.

Damnit, guys, now I want an Anywhere Door. This so isn’t fair.

On All Days

May 10. It’s been a day of significance almost my entire life, although now its significance has shifted. While for 16 years it was an exciting anniversary of my brother’s birth, the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th occurrences of this date… they just mean heartache and sorrow, because of a shift from “Happy 19th birthday!” to “He would be turning 20 today.”

Of course, life goes on. Over the past three years, I have had midterms on his death-date and finals on his birthday–but not this year. This year I escaped the dreaded midterm and his birthday is on Saturday. All I have to deal with now is me–as if that wasn’t hard enough–and anything else my personal life throws at me.

Like, for example, the text message I received at a quarter to ten this morning: You know I’m still in love with you.

I can tell you right now that this text didn’t come from my boyfriend, who is currently softly snoring and has been for hours. It came from a friend I met last year via English class. I won’t get into it all, because it’s far too much to recount and it’s excessively complicated. But when we got to be friends, he developed feelings, which unfortunately grew the longer we knew each other. I was, however, in a relationship most of the time we knew each other–although there were two of them. He graduated that spring and moved back home, which is several states away from North Dakota, and then in June he decided to finally come clean about his feelings. By the time he told me he wanted to be my boyfriend, I had already told Kirk that I would be his girlfriend, and chaos ensued. I won’t go into it, but he made me so furious that I was almost content to never speak to him again. Over the next several months, I rarely heard from him, and if I did, the “conversation” was pathetic/short-lived/whatever. And then in November, he got hit by a drunk driver and spent the next four or five months in the hospital struggling to stay alive. Over those four months, his ex-girlfriend (they broke up while he was in the hospital) pestered the ever-living shit out of me about how my relationship was going to fail because it wasn’t with him and blah blah blah blah blah. Generally, her goal was to make me feel as shitty as possible. Like she thought she could guilt trip me out of my relationship and into a new one or something.

Obviously I feel bad that this guy has feelings for me that I can’t reciprocate. I’ve been there–repeatedly–and it sucks every time. Every time. So when I got his text message this morning, the only thing I could reply is “I’m sorry.” There’s nothing else for me to say. He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with me, and it’s not my fault that he did. I will take the blame for my own naivete. That I will own. I have to–I’ve been looking back and realizing that I did a lot of things out of straight naivete that I really probably shouldn’t have done. Said things that, in retrospect, I definitely shouldn’t have said. Because I never realized that they meant the things that other people assumed they meant.

10 May is never a good day for me anymore. I try to treat it just like any other day, but a day with real significance doesn’t just fade out.

Posted in Daily Post

Daily Prompt: Ring of Fire

Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring? —http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ring-of-fire/

First thing: I like to eat. If you know me, you’ve seen the evidence thereof. Okay, okay, I’m not fat, but I certainly have some extra pudge hanging around. It’s because I like food. I like food way too much to stop eating, so no one ever has to worry about an eating disorder with this girl.

That said, I do not think that food should hurt. And when people make things ridiculously spicy, I don’t like it. I don’t get the point of spicy food, I guess. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I like some food with some spice, so long as the heat adds to the flavor. Hot for the sake of hot just bugs the hell out of me. No thanks, friends. I’ll stick with my non-spicy deliciousness.

Second thing: I unfortunately have an appallingly delicate tummy. Even bland food can sometimes set it off. Spiciness… can be bad. Really, really bad, as a matter of fact. I’ve been known to curl into the fetal position and whimper from hurting too badly to move. It’s miserable.

Suffice it to say, I tend to avoid spicy food. Not just because I dread what it does to my guts, but also because I’m just not that big of a fan. I like some, here and there, but not a lot. I’m certainly not going to go after that BWW wing challenge. In two words, I can sum up my feelings about the entire endeavor:

Fuck. That.